Florida Gators Finish Record-Breaking 2010 NFL Draft with Nine Selections

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Gators finished the 2010 NFL Draft with
a nation’s-best nine players drafted. Florida set a school record with
six players taken in the first two rounds and tied its record with three
first-round draft picks.

Florida’s total of nine players drafted tied for second in school
history. However, the Florida-best of 10 selections came in 1978 when
the draft was 12 rounds long, and only six of those were chosen in the
first seven rounds, which has been the draft’s length since 1993.

Of the other two occasions where nine UF players were drafted, one
instance also came in the era of the 12-round draft (1992) with only
five players being selected in the first seven rounds. The other (2007)
saw five players taken in the first five rounds, with four of the nine
choices coming in the later stages of the draft. In 2010, meanwhile, all
nine of Florida’s draftees were selected in the first five rounds,
making this the most loaded draft in school history from a quality
standpoint.

The Gators have now had 42 all-time first-round draft picks, and
cornerback Joe Haden (Ft. Washington, Md.) became the third-highest
drafted Gator defensive player all-time, going to the Cleveland Browns
with the seventh-overall pick in the draft. No Gator cornerback has ever
been chosen higher.

In addition, center Maurkice Pouncey (Lakeland, Fla.) was the first
center selected in the draft, taken by the Steelers with the 18th
selection of the draft. He is the first UF center ever taken in the
first round, and with his selection every offensive and defensive
position has now seen a Gator selected in the first two rounds of an NFL
Draft.

Quarterback Tim Tebow (Jacksonville, Fla.) became the fourth Florida
quarterback ever taken in the first round when the Denver Broncos
selected him with the 25th choice in the draft.

With Saturday’s selection of Riley Cooper (Clearwater, Fla.) by the
Philadelphia Eagles, the Gators have now had a wide receiver drafted in
five consecutive drafts, one of two schools nationally to do so. UF has
also had a combined seven wide receivers and tight ends drafted since
2008, the best figure in the nation, with the addition of Cooper and New
England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (Bristol, Conn.) to that list
on Saturday.

With the selection of Jermaine Cunningham (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and
Carlos Dunlap (North Charleston, S.C.), Florida has now had eight
defensive linemen drafted since 2006. It marks the second time in the
past four drafts that UF has had multiple defensive linemen selected.

The Gators also had a pair of defensive backs selected, with Major
Wright (Miramar, Fla.) getting the third-round call from Chicago in
addition to Haden. It marks the second time in four years that multiple
Florida defensive backs have been drafted, as well.

With today’s selection of Hernandez by the Patriots, in addition to New
England’s second-round picks of Cunningham and linebacker Brandon Spikes
(Shelby, N.C.) on Friday, the Gators saw three players get drafted by
the same team for just the second time since the AFL-NFL merger in 1960.

"I've said many times I have the utmost respect for Coach Belichick and
the way he goes about his business,” Florida head coach Urban Meyer
said. “The Patriots are a first-class organization from top to bottom.
Overall, our group of players have been drafted by top-notch
organizations and coaches, and I'm excited for them as they begin their
professional careers."

Florida previously had four players drafted by the Chicago Bears in
2003. Of those four taken by Chicago, three appeared in Super Bowl XLI
following the 2006 NFL season, including two starters in quarterback Rex
Grossman and defensive tackle Ian Scott.

The New York Giants drafted four Gators in 19Gator 2010 Draftees
CB Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns – 1st Round, 7th Overall
C Maurkice Pouncey, Pittsburgh Steelers – 1st Round, 18th Overall
QB Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos – 1st Round, 25th Overall
DE Jermaine Cunningham, New England Patriots – 2nd Round, 53rd Overall
DE Carlos Dunlap, Cincinnati Bengals – 2nd Round, 54th Overall
LB Brandon Spikes, New England Patriots – 2nd Round, 62nd Overall
S Major Wright, Chicago Bears – 3rd Round, 75th Overall
TE Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots – 4th Round, 113th Overall
WR Riley Cooper, Philadelphia Eagles – 5th Round, 159th Overall

Most Players Drafted
1. Florida – 9
2. Alabama – 7
Oklahoma – 7
Southern Cal – 7
5. Iowa – 6
LSU – 6
Penn State – 6
Tennessee – 6
Texas – 6
Utah – 6

Most Gators Selected in a Single Draft
10 1978*
9 2010
9 2007
9 1992*

*Draft was 12 rounds


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